Updates: REDbird, Plenti, my 90,000 point mistake, Ink 30K and 60K offers

I have a number of quick updates for today…

REDbird

As of May 6, 2015, Target no longer accepts credit cards for in-store REDbird reloads. For more information, please see “REDbird Post Memo Answers“, and “REDbird grounded. Now what?

One of my local Target stores (Carpenter Road, Ann Arbor) has stopped allowing credit card reloads, but all other area Target stores continue to allow it.  This has happened at several other Target stores around the country (Brooklyn, NJ, Chicago, etc.).  Some of these stores have stopped allowing credit card reloads.  Others have implemented limits that are more stringent than those allowed by the card.  Store employees like to say things like “this is a corporate wide policy”.  Rubbish.  A corporate wide policy may appear at any time, but when I last checked it hasn’t happened yet.

This is clearly an inconvenience for those who live or work close to those particular stores, but I don’t think it portends anything in particular about Target’s overall policy.

Plenti launches today, May 4th

Plenti is a new rewards program backed by American Express.  With this program, you can earn Plenti points from a number of different merchants, and then spend your points with any of these merchants too.  Current partners include AT&T, Exxon, Macy’s, Mobil, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Direct Energy, and Hulu.  I was fortunate attended a presentation from Plenti last week where I learned a couple of potentially useful tidbits:

  • Plenti points will be worth “at least” 1 cent each.  It seems that the usual way to redeem is for exactly 1 cent per point towards any purchase, but the “at least” phrase suggests to me that there will be special offers for better than 1 cent per point value.
  • There are plans to bring on more partners including some travel related.  No details on who, where, when.

Plenti is supposed to be live as of today.  You should be able to find details here.

Plenti_logo2

My 90,000 point mistake… resolved

I wrote previously about my mistake where I forgot to move my wife’s Ultimate Rewards points before I closed her Chase Ink Card account.  My goal was to try to resolve the issue through Secure Messaging, but I wasn’t getting anywhere through that channel.  I was finally resigned to the fact that I would have to convince my wife to get on the phone with Chase when another option presented itself.  I met with a Chase bank representative for another matter altogether and told him what happened.  He shot off an email to someone, somewhere and within a day or two our points were back and deposited into her Freedom account.  They didn’t even have to reopen my wife’s account to do so (as far as I know).  Whew.

Pulling a Jet is easier than it sounds

It turns out that its not so hard for 20 people to pull a 757 jet on a smooth, flat runway.  As expected, our team did not win, but we did have a lot of fun and we raised over $5,000 for the American Cancer Society.  I previously wrote about this event here: Delta’s jets don’t pull themselves.

Ink Plus 60K, Ink Cash 30K

As I predicted last week (see: Ink Plus 60K? Ink Cash 30K?), the Chase Ink improved offers did appear as expected for National Small Business Week.  You can find both offers here.  Note that Chase has become much more strict in the past year or so: it has become very difficult to get approved when your business generates very little income and/or has not been around long.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. The AmEx terms and conditions state you can load your card with cash “or other accepted tender” at Target stores. Can individual stores change their policies as to what is accepted tender?

    • The Redbird legal disclosure page states, under the “Receiving Money and Funding Your Account” section, sub-section (4) Cash Funding Sources:

      “We and participating Target stores in the U.S. may change accepted tender types and funding methods for the Account at any time for legal, risk management, security or other purposes.”

      So Amex and Target are both covered by the terms of their agreement to do this as they see fit. Not that I think they would necessarily need this specific wording for that, especially since the credit card loading isn’t mentioned directly on that page and it has been classified as cash loading.

      Having said that, I think the Target stores that have curbed credit card loads (a couple also gift cards) are doing this to minimize fraud risks. Also, at least one person reported as such (on FT) that they were told so by a store supervisor/manager.

  2. You mentioned that Chase has become much more stringent in approving the Ink business cards? Do you know if the same holds true for Chase business version of the Southwest card? Thanks.

  3. Re: Redbird YIKES! If that happens at my Target, I’m in trouble. We only have one within a reasonable driving distance. My hubby is going to stop and load his on his way home from work today. Fingers crossed that it will still go through!

  4. The individual Target store policy about restriction credit cards (or disallowing them altogether) started in early February with the Atlantic Ave store in Brooklyn (NYC), from there on a few more stores in NYC started to implement this, some not allowing credit cards at all and some lowering the daily load limit from $2.5K to $1K, $500, and recently even $200 on at least one store in NYC. In the last month a couple of stores in NJ and Chicago also started this and there’s even sporadic stores in other places who did the same, like this one in Ann Arbor.

    The good news is that in all these Redbird-restricted areas, there’s other stores where people can load and except for NYC, I don’t know how much out of the way people would have to go to load, though it’s an inconvenience for sure.

    Having seen how this started and has continued, my guess is that it is out of concerns to prevent fraud, not MS (manufactured spending), at this point anyhow. If Target wanted to stop or throttle MS, it would implement a country-wide change via their computer system (POS) like they did when they lowered the transaction limit from $2.5K to $1K, which was an overnight change.

    P.S. I wrote a post about a month ago regarding on stores in NYC that had disallowed credit cards: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NoonRadar/posts/ZTXEV7MxKqJ This was from people’s data points, since I don’t live in NYC, so pls report any new restricted locations if you’re in NYC.

  5. At the moment, you don’t think the REDbird changes you’ve noticed at an increasing number of stores will become a company-wide policy, I’ve always figured that the program would be so sliced up that it will be utterly useless when it finally gets to California. Right now, the closest it’s available is Tucson. 🙁

  6. For what is worth, in the past I used the same store in Ann Arbor store mentioned above. They have always been a pain from the very beginning asking my ID every time I wanted to reload and not allowing me to reload my wife’s card claiming it was Target’s policy.
    I avoided that store ever since. The other store in Ann Arbor works just fine.

  7. Any value in creating a sub-account on the RedCard? (other than the name now matches the person doing the reload). For example: can you do $5,000 worth of reloads on the main account and another $5,000 worth of reloads on the subaccount?

    • You can only load $5K/month on one Redbird acct, sub-accounts are just for spending.

      I don’t know that you can load to the main Redbird acct via the sub-acct card either; let us know if anyone has tried.

    • Loading subaccounts on Serve doesn’t work and since RB is also an amex product, I think they’re under the same terms and conditions. The load limit up to $5K/calendar month remains, regardless of how many subaccounts there are. I’ve tried loading the Serve sub account cards, it was NO GO.

      • “I’ve tried loading the Serve sub account cards, it was NO GO.”

        Barb, just to confirm, you tried to swipe the Serve sub-acct card and didn’t work? I don’t expect it to work, just trying to establish a data point.

        Also, how long ago was that approximately?

  8. I wonder if we should wait to sign up for Plenti in the hopes that there will be a promotional offer to signup in the future…

  9. Guess I’m using the right store in Ann Arbor. That makes three of us on just this article. CSR has commented that “lots of people come in and load a thousand dollars.” Wonder if anyone has created an app for that, like AwardMapper, maybe called TargetLoader!

  10. I just loaded my Redcard (in Texas) with a combination of credit cards and Visa variable load cards. It was fine, but they showed me a memo from the Target Corporate office that says the registers all across the country will be coded from corporate and it will change things. I didn’t get a chance to read it, but from what they told me, it may eliminate loads from variable cards and maybe lower limits.. We will see, but every Target should have received the same memo today.

  11. If you want Redbird (and cc reloads in particular) to stick around, find a way to use your card so it’s profitable for Target.

    If all you do is cc load and billpay out every dollar, you are part of the problem.

    If, on the other hand, enough people use the card as intended then it can become profitable for them and much more likely to stick around.

    • I agree, but with a lot of people who have Redbirds now, what is the percentage of those who just load then w/d or billpay? While the only one we can control is ourselves, we can’t control others. Like it or not, Target will change their terms IF THEY WANT TO AT ANYTIME. We just have to enjoy riding the gravy train while it’s running.

  12. We all knew this was coming. What we did not expect is how fast it came. I am glad I did not put too much time into it. BTW- I tried the advanti- and even tho I have a 719 credit score they wont approve me. SInce they said they closed some account. (chap 7 many years ago?)

  13. It’s interesting that there are so many sides on the redcard situation. I spoke with Citi a few nights ago because I was constantly getting declined for loads on the redbird. The rep asked if I was loading the redbird. I said yes, and he apologized. He said the Citi fraud dept and Target were working to find a way to make the declines less of an issue. I got the feeling all parties were aware of how some people might use the card, and it didn’t seem to be an issue.

    Who knows.

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